MALD Paves Way for Swarm Ops

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A DT tipper, who prefers to remain anonymous (and who has proffered some pretty good stuff in the past), sent me this little tidbit with his analysis:

The Miniature Air Launched Decoy, a Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) state-of-the-art, low-cost, modular air- launched programmable flight vehicle, successfully completed government and Raytheon seamless verification team flight testing Jan. 11. This sets the stage for the MALD to enter low-rate initial production (LRIP) later this year.

The testing, which began in June 2007, put the MALD through a series of flight profiles including jettison and powered flight tests from both F-16 and B-52 aircraft. The MALD, which weighs less than 300 pounds and has a range of approximately 500 nautical miles, succeeded in 33 of 35 tests...

"Completion of this flight testing brings the versatile MALD platform one step closer to becoming a staple in the warfighter's arsenal," said Harry Schulte, vice president of Raytheon Missile Systems' Strike product line. "MALD is more than just a decoy -- we designed it with modularity in mind to evolve as the warfighter's needs evolve. We're ready to get the MALD to LRIP."

MORE:

The Miniature Air Launched Decoy is a low-cost, air-launched programmable craft that accurately duplicates the combat flight profiles and signatures of U.S. and allied aircraft. In addition to protecting valuable aircraft, MALD offers counter air operations to neutralize, if not destroy, air defense systems that pose a threat to U.S. and allied pilots.

Our DT reader and tipmaster comments:

In addition to the stated benefits, the successful design and implementation of efficient miniture engines will allow the US to perfect swarming techniques, develop aAAV missions (attack atonomous air vehicles) and drive the development of associated information exchange necessary to exploit the application of this technology.

Plus, they are relatively cheap.

Keep 'em coming boys.

-- Christian

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